In addition, the operating profit result of the Würth Group is clearly up on the previous year with EUR 1.2 billion (2020: EUR 775 million). Strong sales growth and higher productivity contributed significantly to the positive result. In addition, due to the pandemic, costs for travel, trade fairs and conferences did not occur in 2021.
“We are in the middle of the 4th wave of the pandemic, and the development of supply chains is challenging us all,” said Robert Friedmann, chairman of the central managing board of the Würth Group. Achieving results like this under such conditions shows that we have tailor-made products and services for our customers. It is also important to convey calmness and security in a crisis. In a family business like ours, Prof. Reinhold Würth and Bettina Würth play a decisive role in such a situation.
The number of pick-up shops worldwide has more than doubled to 2,497 in the past ten years. Customers’ procurement of material via these shops represents an important component of our multi-channel strategy, the company said. In addition, digital channels such as the online shop, e-procurement and the Würth App offer the right solutions for contactless shopping. In the business year 2021, the e-business unit generated sales of EUR 3.4 billion, which corresponds to a new record with 19.9 percent of the group’s total sales.
The number of employees in the Würth Group increased by 4,044 to 83,183 in fiscal 2021.
The group’s own production plants in Germany and Europe ensure a certain independence from global supply chains. Nevertheless, the supply bottlenecks also made themselves felt in individual areas of the Würth Group. For example, the shortage of chips had an impact on companies in the Group that depend on the automotive industry as they supply to OEMs directly.
“ASSY, our screw for wood construction, is produced by the Group company SWG Schraubenwerk Gaisbach. This means that we do not depend on Chinese steel imports. Today, already 80% of our goods originate in Europe,” said Friedmann.
In the third quarter of 2022, the new innovation centre in Künzelsau-Gaisbach will be opened with the aim of streamlining innovation cycles, bringing new and further developments to market more quickly and offering customers even more solutions of added value. At the same time, a new parking garage is being built with 752 parking spaces, of which 48 are e-charging spaces. In addition, the company is investing in a new administration building with around 375 workplaces. Construction start is scheduled for 2024.
Wurth predicts that the procurement market will remain tense in 2022. The decision of the German government to make vaccination compulsory will have a significant impact on the development of the pandemic and thus on the economic activity.
Concludes Friedmann: “Despite these uncertainties, we assume that we will achieve new record sales in the coming business year and achieve adequate operating result growth, as our multi-channel strategy, far-reaching digitalisation and large number of own production facilities mean that we are in an independent position now and will continue to be so in the future.”